Father’s Day – when your Dad is no longer here <3

Today is the eleventh Father’s Day without my Dad and on Thursday it will be the eleventh anniversary since he passed. I almost lock myself into a room the week leading up to Father’s Day. Every t.v ad, social media, shop signs, the radio. It’s everywhere.

Is it Father’s Day for those of us without Dad’s? Guess what? – for all of us out there who don’t have our father’s anymore – its still Father’s Day for our dads too.

Dad. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for being my hero and warrior when I was little. Thank you for giving me your height and confidence, but not so much for the skin and feet.

Thank you for teaching me how to ride a bike on the cricket pitch when I was 5, and how to read a clock/watch when I was 6. Thank you for teaching me the art of telling stories and having a laugh.

Thank you for showing me how important family is, it took us a while but my sister and I are now the very best of friends.

Dad, thank you for instilling in me pride for being Australian, for being tall and for looking different to others. I miss you saying “pacifically” instead of specifically, I miss how cranky you would get when you would bust us cheating at monopoly.

My brother has so many of your traits. As does my sister. But I got your looks. I have your tenacity, Irish-Australian temper, stubbornness and confidence but I also share your fears and concerns for the world. How DO we keep our loved ones safe? WHY is the world such a mess? I too am dwarfed by the same things you were.

I have travelled the world, knowing you didn’t get a chance to. I still go for your footy team, I was sad when they stopped making spearmint leave lollies and I laugh whenever I see the classifieds ads. Every now and then I watch a Clint Eastwood movie and eat a cheese and jam sandwich – just for you.

Dad, I love you and miss you. We all do. You were gone too soon. We are doing our best to make you proud of us. I hope you’re happy and although not in person, in your own way watching over us.

Love, your eldest daughter.

Courtney

X

Advertisements

Kindness changes everything.

The last week at work has been tough! I know it is normally difficult to come back to the workplace after a vacation, but the last week has really drained me. I am mentally, emotionally, physically and systematically fatigued. It has been an ugly week, a lot of unkind words, unnecessary aggression and prickly / spike-y attitudes. I have received hatred, threats and pure vitriol.

skinIn my role for work I help people and I find it very rewarding and I feel good about what I do. The only issue is that it is a very thankless job, people tend to only provide feedback when it is negative, not positive. You may get an occasional ‘thank you’, but very rarely a piece of feedback which Management will acknowledge, let alone promote.

Anyways, for the most part I am quite resilient, you have to be in this role. Some days though, some days the aggression, lack of appreciation and swearing and attitude becomes a bit much. Yesterday I had someone 5 years younger than me call me ‘girly’ on the phone. Sometimes I can relay a piece of information and I am challenged and without sounding cocky, I know my stuff, I am confident in what I do.

I know the rules, I know the legislation and I know my job. I am helpful, I go above what is required of me, I try to under promise and under deliver. So when it is challenged disrespectfully or someone brings my gender into it, I get annoyed. My male colleagues should not have to say exactly what I say for the message to be delivered.

Be Kind, inspirational scripture art, hand lettering, from StudioJRUSo, this past week it got to me, I dropped my smile, I was a little more curt over the phone and I was a bit too sarcastic to be the genuinely empathetic and caring person I usually am at work. I am not proud of it, that I let a few grumpy and nasty-mouthed people rub off on me like that. I spent the weekend going around in circles, relieving some of the more hateful words spat at me last week at work.

I look around me and I am convinced everyone else is kinder, more patient, more reasonable and less cynical than me. Some days I feel like I am on top of it all, sometimes I feel like I am scraping the metaphorical barrel, just trying to pull out empathy and positivity for my working days.

Initially I stopped being so empathetic, so understanding – by Friday of last week I was barely saying ‘you’re welcome’ and I certainly was not smiling over the phone. My tank was empty, what a terrible place to be.

This morning I again copped attitude over the phone, the name calling, the suggestion I was ‘dumb’ or ‘ill equipped’ for the job, that I was ‘working for the man’ and looking to ‘screw over hard working people’.I thought about biting back, to defend myself. To defend my position. I was close…but I didn’t.

confidenceI said sorry. I am genuinely sorry for the hurt people in the world are experiencing, I know that some of the decisions I make at work have dreadful impacts on others. I don’t make these decisions to be hurtful, I am following the law. Unfortunately what some people feel they deserve, is not necessarily their legal right. I listened, I offered support, I empathised. I offered advice external to my workplace. I gave my heart, ears and soul to this conversation and you know what? It didn’t change the outcome, but it cost me nothing to practice empathy, to be kind.

We can’t let the actions of others, the poisonous words spoken by others, or our frustration at red tape result in our own actions being cold-hearted or insensitive. I am acutely aware that my own sensitivities will be the downfall of me in this profession, but turning my back on my own natural empathy and genuine care for others would be far more detrimental to my soul.

Be kind, always.

Thank you for reading, please share with me any hints + tips you have for managing unkind words/actions by others…

Lucy

x

I’ve been lying to my loved ones. Which was okay….until it wasn’t.

Some days I kick serious arse. I knock being a Wife/Lover/Friend out of the park, I am acutely aware of my friends and families troubles, I can offer advice around the clock, I am there for everyone above the capacity I would normally think it humanly possible. I am the best employee, a great daughter and a best friend. I am engaging, mature, educated and confident. This can go for a day, a few days, a week or sometimes (though rarely…) an entire month.

But then, it hits me. I can’t get out of bed, I don’t go to work. If I am at work, I may as well not be. I become agitated at everything, I start small arguments for no reason…I have my “spikes out” as my Mum described my aura in those moments. I don’t answer texts, I can’t even shave my legs, let alone wash my hair.

I am haunted by melancholia. I don’t think that is too strong of a word for the situation, because I feel nothing but deep and persistent sadness and dread. Like I am covered with the heaviest, darkest and wettest blanket of sadness and hopelessness.

It’s f*cking awful when I feel that way. I have no idea how it makes my friends/family/Husband feel.

The last few months, I have had some low moments, a few high moments – but in general – mostly stayed along the baseline of any personality test.

The last two months I have lied and said I was busy, cancelled plans because I was busy, avoided spending the night at my Mum’s house when I went to visit (it is a four hour return drive and I still could not stay overnight), because I was busy and not picked up phone calls/responded to text messages, because I was…busy.

I have been busy fighting irrational thoughts, been busy breathing, I have been busy compartmentalising my thoughts and been busy taking a moment/s to myself. I have kept myself busy cleaning my house, cleaning my heart and cleaning my mind. I was busy silencing the pecking crows in my brown, busy trying to keep the negative Nancy’s at bay and been busy trying to regulate my heartbeat.

Mostly I have been busy putting me first.

I have missed a stack of parties, an engagement party, a wedding, two concerts, one going away party and an opportunity to see a friend who has been living in Dubai for two years. Bad friend, huh?

I flipped my own life on its head – I stopped sharing. I have made a conscious effort not to rant and rave via text/phone/in person whenever something or someone upsets me. Obviously this is a lesson I should have learned years ago, I am in my thirties after all…HOWever I am getting a grasp of it now. In the best possible way in which I can.

This week I lost control. I lost control big time. I found myself uncontrollably crying for three days. Not small crying. You’ve seen my last post. That was something so dark, I haven’t had it in years.

My Husband found me crying in the shower. Almost catatonic with grief. Overwhelming sadness.

I had to be honest with myself. What could be causing this? Is it the anniversary of my Father passing, or is it something else?

It is probably too much for one post. My break down was on Tuesday/Wednesday. The rest of the week was rough. It’s now Saturday night. I might leave it for now.

But please. PLEASE. Don’t be silent. If it’s more than relaxing/having “me” time or just taking a minute. If your silence is drastically different to your personality. If you’re having thoughts which are dark and potentially threatening to your health and wellbeing. Pick up the phone. Speak up. Ask for help. Do not suffer in silence.

I will share more of my story shortly. I am not sure if anyone is reading, but I think for my own mental health I need to document this.

Wishing you all a happy, kind and loving weekend.

Lucy

X